On October 7, 2021, Jamaican academic and United States university administrator Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Ph.D., will be celebrated at one of the most popular signature events sponsored by the Washington Business Journal, a live in-person celebration that recognizes the most influential businesswomen in the Washington DC area. This will be the 18th annual staging of the “Women Who Mean Business” program, which honors the contributions of women in every industry and profession and the ways they have made a difference in their communities, as well as how they are leaving their marks on Washington.
Tashni-Ann Dubroy was born in Mandeville, Jamaica, in 1981 to Emerson and Greta Coote. One of six children, she grew up in May Pen and attended Glenmuir High School before moving to Kingston to attend Holy Childhood High School and Wolmer’s Girls’ School. Although she was accepted to the University of the West Indies, she decided to move to the US at age 18 for family reasons and attended Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York. Dubroy graduated as class valedictorian in 2000 and then pursued additional studies at Shaw University, receiving a B.Sc. in chemistry in 2002, a Ph.D. in chemistry from North Carolina State University in 2007, and an MBA in marketing at Rutgers University in 2010.
Dr. Dubroy began her career as a research scientist at BASF, but after two years there, joined Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, as an associate professor in chemistry. She ultimately became the chair of Shaw University’s Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and served the university president as a special assistant with process optimization responsibilities. In 2015, she was chosen to replace Gaddis Faulcon as university president, becoming the second-youngest president in Shaw’s history at age 34. She was also only the third woman in its history to serve as president. In addition to her role as the 17th president of Shaw, Dr. Dubroy, a skilled entrepreneur, also lead the expansion of the university’s presence in Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park corporate community. She opened the Shaw University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center to expand the development of small businesses in the city. She resigned from Shaw University in 2017 to become the executive vice-president and chief operations officer at Howard University in Washington DC.
During her career, Dr. Dubroy has been honored for her leadership at Shaw University many times, including in 2017 when she was named “CEO of the Year” by the Triangle Business Journal. She also received the Presidential Medal of Excellence in 2016 from Kingsborough Community College and was the first recipient of the “Spirit of Excellence in Higher Education” award from the Movement of Youth organization. Dr. Dubroy also co-founded Tea and Honey Blends, a haircare firm that made and retailed natural haircare products, and she co-owned Element Beauty Bar in downtown Raleigh. She has been recognized for her entrepreneurial success in Money Magazine and Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek.
Commenting on Dr. Dubroy’s inclusion on the Washington Business Journal list, Howard University congratulated her on being recognized, stating, “Her leadership inspires others to excellence and her contributions to the University and surrounding community will have a long-term impact.”